Part 42: A Valiant - and Ill-Advised - RaidA Valiant - and Ill-Advised - Raid
SD 3534.8 - I don't really have a good representative visual, but over the last few turns we started to achieve critical mass on some things. More planets started becoming self-sufficient financially and agriculturally, leading to more cashflow and less new freighters required. Only the few new planets that were trickling in had minimal population, allowing for more focused transfers and automated factories were able to to be purchased immediately at the full price.
All of this ultimately meant more momentum gradually being shifted into accelerating research a little more.
This seemed a useful time to dump some mostly-final facts and figures. These days it is the checking of dozens of planets after each turn's production that takes the lion's share of the time - labor adjustments are relatively minor by comparison. And even that is starting to reduce. I chose this point in time for a couple of reasons. First, we've just finished Klackon repatriations. Almost all of the the bug-occupied industrial centers are at least at half their maximum populations, and our most populous several worlds at present are occupied by them. Nothing is above 19M right now due to the shifting around. Secondly, over the last couple of turns seven new TechnoGeek-occupied planets have reached agricultural self-sufficiency, so the need to ship around food is starting to reduce.
While there are still a number of new planets to be built, that isn't happening nearly as fast as we are now completing development on the other end of the scale, so we've definitely reached a tipping point here. There was a point at which there were dozens of planets with a single citizen - now there's almost none and all those recently colonized or housing worlds. The median number is about 7-8M, and some planets don't have a maximum much higher than that so a great deal of progress has been made.
** We have plenty of surplus freighters, and recently stopped building them at least for now (and perhaps for good). 1050 in all so we are using 923.
** The empire spans 137 planets in 56 systems, approximately - I may have messed up the count somewhere but it's quite close to that. I think we're down to somewhere around 10 more planets to build, and of course the Orion system itself will be added eventually. I'll make that move once all the other planets are built if the Antarans don't return before then. I fear the moment previously spoken of has come - they may well not be coming, having determined that we are strong enough to repel any raiding force.
** Only 9.32% (114M) of the population is required for farming. That includes a few android farmers and a couple of natives that were captured from the Klackons. At this point I'd estimate that our final population will be roughly 30% bugs, but there's much left to be done.
What Are All Those Planets Doing?
** We still have the three small incubator worlds, though I'll be adding population to those and building them up as normal before long.
** 35 planets, or just over a quarter of the empire, are now fully-developed. All citizens not needed for food busily research on those worlds, while the automated industrial facilities crank out Trade Goods to fuel quicker development elsewhere. Much of that funding goes to accelerating the construction of Artificial Planets. The rest of the order here is simply the order in which the game likes to list the improvements.
** 14 planets are about to wrap up, working on the last major project for each world, construction of a Star Fortess.
** 7 are in the midst of Gaia Transformation, a big project midway through the development cycle before moving on to financial and research structures.
** Terraforming occupies the efforts of another 10 planets - of course some of them will require several rounds of it before the work is done.
** Another dozen are building Pleasure Domes, which come near the end of the initial production-boosting phase of development.
** Two are wrapping up Galactic Cybernets, the final research improvement before moving on to either agricultural focus or, for rich worlds, going straight to the star fortress.
** 11 Deep Core Mines, the last big factory-boosting construction, are underway.
** 2 Recyclotrons, which add a final tidbit of production before moving on usually into terraforming.
** 2 Colony Bases for deployment on recently constructed worlds.
** 11 Astro Universities, another end-of-industrial-boosting project.
** 3 Planetary Supercomputers, second of the four research improvements.
** 4 Robo-Miner Plants, second improvement to go up and still a target for aggressive rush-job investment.
** 7 Atmosphere Renewers, the final pollution-reducing add-on (I haven't been building the Core Waste Dumps at all, still being of the opinion that they aren't worth it with the other available earlier options all on the table).
** 1 Soil Enrichment, first of the two farming boosters.
** 3 Holo Simulators, coming in the middle of the industrial push as the first morale booster.
** 1 Gravity Generator, which are needed on a number of worlds and generally get thrown in after the first few industrial buildings get put up. I'm good at forgetting these.
** 3 Cloning Centers, which come shortly after terraforming to start everyone breeding faster.
** 1 Spaceport, first of the financial add-ons.
** 2 Pollution Processors, first pollution reducer after I get a couple of factory buildings up.
** 3 Research Labs, first research building of course.
** 2 Biospheres, first thing that goes up after terraforming in preparation for boosting population growth - since higher max population ceiling boosts that on its own.
** 1 Automated Factory on a just-colonized planet. These are always bought immediately at this point.
That's ... a lot of stuff. The distribution changes around as colonization and development rates evolve. Right now we've got a big bunch, the last group that were settled at the end of the last war, that are nearing the end of the industrial phase and/or terraforming. After that we just have more stuff trickling in, and the overall balance is tilting more towards increased numbers of fully-developed systems shunting more and more resources into research and throwing ever-more cashola at the relatively fewer developing systems.
It does look to me that research and population growth are going to be the last things to finish up. Because of that, I'm not particulary worried about anything else. Stalled at 12-13k for an extended period, research efforts are now nearly at 17k and moving upwards consistently each turn. So too does the required amount; 35k as mentioned for the current second hyper-advanced tier, and 45k for the upcoming third tier.
SD 3535.9 - We break the 20k RP barrier. On the other hand, there are more planets needing to be fashioned than I thought. So the work continues, and reduced freighter fleet production has resumed.
Didn't think we'd get any more military offers at this point, but sure.
SD 3536.5 - They're Back! Turns out that the Antarans still come no matter how ready you are, which is great news for me.
It's been SOOO LONG since we had any action. They're headed for Sagan with a pair of Cruisers ... with any luck we'll get to the quantam detonator on one of them in time and get a new toy or two.
Battle of Sagan (3:27)
Both ships were captured with ease. The fleet was of course overkill, but as we've seen you don't get a lot of chances at this.
The much-ballyhooed Xentronium Armor is ours!
And more crap. I don't remember specific discussion of the Spatial Compressor; it's a weapon system that damages everything in a two-square radius around the ship.
There is no reason to delay further - it is time to smash the Guardian and take Orion. We're presently wrapping up the last of the artificial planet colonizing, so the timing in terms of that is good.
The Guardian, Finally (1:13)
Defeating the Guardian was even more anticlimactic than expected, in terms of the battle itself. Of course we get a bit of a video.
Admiral Loknar the Last Orion is a true badass.
His ship has some nice toys as well, though it follows the whole kitchen-sink approach. We'll keep it around as a favor to him - it'll serve as our (decidedly wimpy by comparison) command ship for the attack on Antares.
The crown jewel of the galaxy is at last ours. Many Klackon 'citizens' will be shipped here forthwith. I'm basically going to buy everything that can't be built in a single turn immediately, so that we can get planets made out of those asteroid belts and play a bit of catch-up in this system. Those will be the last planets to max out down the road.
The Nir system spoken of earlier is about as late as any to finish up - might be one or two a bit after, but they'll be close. All orbits constructed and the last couple of colony bases will be sent out soon. Other than Orion, that final land-grab push is about to complete.
All of this brings us to the final chapter of this struggle. The only matters which remains are to finish fully exploiting the galaxy and miniaturize everything we can. We will be acquiring no new components, equipment, or weapons of war. There is nothing more to learn. And so it is time to decide what to do with it all.
Hyper-advanced tier II is completed; third tier efforts have just begun, literally this turn.